In 1961 at the age of thirteen I integrated Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge located in Prince William County Virginia. My Father Reverend James P. Russell was President of the NAACP in Northern Virginia. Sterling Tucker was my attorney appointed by Roy Wilkins of the NAACP.
I walked through those doors alone and into the face of hell. I perservered, endured, sacrificed and made it through. At my most discouraging moment when I wanted to quit I received a phone call from A. Phillip Randolph and in a broad British type accent He encouraged me to stay because I was making a change where the first Battle of the Civil War was fought. He said I could do it and with God's grace I did. A film crew came into my biology class and day which resulted in me looking like a sad lost child in Eyes On The Prize.
We attended Medgar Evers Funeral/Memorial service in Arlington Cemetery and were involved in changing the history of Northern Virginia regarding desegregation.
My Mother is a niece of the Empress of the Blues and kept me strong with her Aunt Bessie Mae stories. My brother James P. Russell, Jr. integrated Fred Lynn Jr. High and my sister Deborah integrated Occoquan elementary school. My brother Jimmy is on Princes' DVD 'A RAVE UN2 THE YEAR 2000. He is in the credits.
After my experience I left Northern Virginia and moved to Hollywood and was in the mix in the Black Exploitation Movie era.
I have written a book entitled A Blues Song of My Own (available from CASIPublishing.com or Amazon.Com) which tells the truth about the integration experience and does not sugar coat anything.